Learning To Bake At Elevation

Figgy CoffeecakeCooking and baking are always ongoing experiments.  As cooks, we are always learning. It’s a constant and it’s something that you have to be open to and accepting of.

The hard truth is, you will never know everything and you will never be perfect.

And that’s okay!  Because that’s how it should be. We should always be open to learning.

So far one of the biggest challenges I am facing in the kitchen right now is learning how to bake at elevation.

Now I’m not much of a baker to begin with.  A few cookies and biscuits here and there.  Oh and pizza.  That’s about as far as I go because, well, I’m not much of a dessert fan and I would rather cook than bake.

However even the small stuff that I did before has become a challenge at elevation!

I didn’t give up and over the last couple of months I have become much better at baking!

Two things I’ve learned are:

1. Higher Temps for Baking

When something says 350, I will usually bump it to 400 instead. Unless the recipe is specifically one made for higher elevation, then I will keep the temperature the same.

The higher temp seems to keep things in check and everything rises and bakes the way you expect it to.

2. More Baking Soda

Most rules of thumb for elevation baking that I’ve read have said to reduce the amount of leavening by half so that the baked good doesn’t rise too much.  I haven’t found this to be the case and in fact, have needed to increase the leavening amount in order to get the baked good to rise the way it should.

For some reason baking powder has not worked in my experiments.  If I use baking powder I get a flat dense baked good. Even something simple, like pancakes, won’t rise or cook properly.  Baking powder seems to keep things light and fluffy.

So far sticking to these two rules I have successfully made:

  • Biscuits
  • Coffeecake
  • Scones

Those small successes have boosted my confidence and now I’m ready to tackle cookies!

What challenges are you currently facing in the kitchen?

4 thoughts on “Learning To Bake At Elevation

  1. Currently, my kitchen challenges are having a way too small kitchen that makes me stressed to be in, and lacking motivation to actually cook meals since being sick with the flu. I’m working on fixing both – currently looking to move, and I picked out a recipe that I’m making Monday night. We’ll see if I can turn that into a trend.

  2. That coffee cake looks amazing! I like your ‘A’ mug too. My challenge right now is space, too. I have more than I was expecting, but not what I had the past few years. More than anything it just forces me to have patience – for clearing space, making less dishes at one time, having to climb or crawl to the far corners of the cabinet to get tools. I’m learning to deal with it. :)

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